Monday, May 22, 2006

Baby Raccoons and Other Wildlife Babies

Yesterday, I saw my first baby raccoon up close and personal. I'm holding Mochi in the photo. He is wrapped in a towel because he just finished his bath.

Mochi was found next to his mother who was killed by a car. He was taken in by a certified animal rehabilitation facility. Mochi was only a couple of weeks old.

Today Mochi is almost 5 weeks and delightful as you can see. He stole my heart in less than a second. His soft purring chortle brought smiles to everyone there. Mochi must be kept warm, out of direct sunlight and feed every four hours. When he is old enough to care for himself, he must either be returned to the wild or find a permant home in a wildlife facility.

If Mochi was a female, it is certain she would be returned to the wild. But, male raccoons have a harder time being reintroduced into the wild. Female raccoon move into their first heat and know immediately what to do.

It is so easy to be enamored when you see a baby animal. But remember the mother is probably near by. Unless you see the body of the mother as in Mochi's situation, please remember; leave the babies alone. The mother will return. Often the best thing we can do to help wildlife babies is leave them alone.

"Those who wish to pet and baby wildlife love them, but those who respect their natures and wish to let them live their natural lives, love them more ." -From the April 28th entry in Edwin Way Teale's Circle of the Seasons: The Journal of a Naturalist's Year

No comments: